Monetary System


Circulating Coins
1 lev = 100 stotinki

No mintmark on circulating coins

Stotinki: 10, 20, 50 / Lev: 1, 2, 5, 10

By law, the Bulgarian National Bank has the exclusive right to issue bank notes and coins. The Bulgarian National Bank was founded in 1879. Until 1952, when the Bulgarian Mint was established, the country's coins were produced in the most prestigious European Mints. From 1952 on, the Bulgarian Mint has produced all Bulgarian circulation and commemorative coins from gold, platinum, silver, bronze and copper-nickel. From 1997 the Bulgarian Mint is fully owned by the Bulgarian National Bank.

The Mint was part of the Ministry of Finance until 1990, when Mint Ltd., was established as a public company with equal parts of its shares owned by the National Bank and the Ministry of Finance. Until 1992 all Bulgarian coins traditionally carried the state emblem. The new circulation coins, emission 1992, are radically different in design from the old series. They feature Thracian, Slavic and Christian symbols. Since 1979 Bulgaria annually participates in international commemorative coin programs with themes such as sports, history and ecology.

The Bulgarian Currency

The Bulgarian national monetary unit is the Lev (BGL), Leva in the plural form, divided into 100 stotinki. On July 5, 1999, the Lev was re-denominated at a rate of 1,000 old Leva to one new Lev. The Bulgarian economy operates under the auspices of a Currency Board where 1 BGN is equal to 1 DEM, and 1,95583 BGN is equal to 1 EURO; in place since 1 January 1999. Coins are minted in values of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 stotinki and the obverse of all coins features the Madara Horseman - a VIII century relief carved in a rock, and the textCyrillic (Bulgaria) inscribed in circumference above it. The main design on the reverse of the coin features the figure of the denomination and the year of issue - 1999. The text Cyrillic (stotinka) is inscribed underneath, and the twelve five-pointed stars - the symbol of the European Union - are inscribed in circumference above it.

Beginning September 2, 2002 the National Bank of Bulgaria issued a one Lev coin. It is believed the coin will gradually phase out the one Lev banknote that is currently in circulation. The 16 mm diameter inner part is of a white metal alloy, the outer ring of a yellow alloy and outside diameter is 24.5 mm. The edge is serrated by sectors. The coin weight is 7 grams. Artistic design is by Petar Stoykov.

For further information, contact the Bulgarian Mint Sales Department, 15 San Stefano Str., 1504 Sofia, Bulgaria. Web: http://www.bnb.bg/ Telephone: 00359 2 445 502.